Constrain Scale in Photoshop using Shift Key

New Here ,
Apr 15, 2021 Apr 15, 2021

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So I've been a little frustrated for a while about the forcing of the shift key to unconstrain which is unlike all of the other Adobe software pieces. It seems the Devs are trying very hard to make Photoshop unlike all of the other software pieces. This was acceptable back in the Macromedia days because they were made by different dev studios, but at this point, it's been decades since they've been different studios.

 

That being said, there's a neat little check-box that will make the scale feature function like all other software features.

 

The transform tool will give you an option in the top bar to constrain or unconstrain objects by width and height. If you want to have the tool work like it used to in legacy photoshop or in the other adobe software pieces where constraint only happens by holding shift, then unlock the button. If you want it to function like it did over the last few years where it's automatically constrained and holding shift will un-constrain, then make sure the link button is selected.

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How to, Mac, Praise, Windows

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 15, 2021 Apr 15, 2021

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@TSeric wrote:

So I've been a little frustrated for a while about the forcing of the shift key to unconstrain which is unlike all of the other Adobe software pieces. It seems the Devs are trying very hard to make Photoshop unlike all of the other software pieces. This was acceptable back in the Macromedia days because they were made by different dev studios, but at this point, it's been decades since they've been different studios.


 

The reasoning was not random. There’s been a movement among photo applications to make proportional scaling the default, so you add Shift only if you want distortion. Some of the biggest Photoshop competitors work that way (such as Affinity Photo).

 

Of course you spotted the major problem with this: Bringing that Photoshop default into alignment with the industry brought it out of line with other Adobe applications. It would have worked a lot better if all Adobe applications changed scaling at the same time, but instead it creates serious confusion for anyone using multiple Adobe applications.

 

But there’s more to it than the Transform checkbox. After a user outcry, the first thing Adobe did in an update was add a new preference that controls the default: Use Legacy Free Transform.

 

Photoshop-preference-Use-Legacy-Free-Transform.jpg

 

As a further refinement, in a later update they added the options bar checkbox you noticed, so that you can toggle the behavior at any time without changing the default.

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